North America

Howard & Howard Expands Tax Practice

ROYAL OAK, Mich., February 20, 2020 – Howard & Howard expanded its Tax Practice Group with the addition of Lindsey A. O’Malley. She brings over 20 years of accounting and tax experience to the firm. Lindsey will practice out of the firm’s Chicago office.

“I am a tax attorney and CPA who advises clients on federal and state tax credits and incentives.” – Lindsey A. O’Malley

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Claude-Armand Sheppard and Katherine Delage Speaking at a Continuing Education Activity

February 18, 2020 — The Bar of Montreal will be hosting a continuing education activity on Wednesday, February 26, featuring two RSS lawyers commenting on two decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada:

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Geneviève Goulet becomes a certified corporate director

February 17, 2020 — RSS is pleased to announce that Geneviève Goulet, a partner in our Business Law Group, has completed the University Certification in Corporate Governance programme, thus becoming a certified corporate director (Administratrice de sociétés certifiée, ASC). The only programme of its kind in Quebec, it was designed for corporate directors and officers sitting on corporate boards aiming to reach the highest standards of corporate governance.

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California Supreme Court Holds That Time Spent Waiting by Apple Retail Employees for Exit Searches is Compensable under California Law

It is not unusual for businesses at risk of employee theft to implement security screenings for employees as they exit the employer’s facilities.  Such screenings are especially common in industries where small, costly items could easily be slipped into a pocket or handbag – jewelry, smartphones, computer chips, etc.

In light of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Frlekin v. Apple, Inc., those security screenings now seem likely to lead to even more litigation wherein employees claim that they were not paid for their time spent waiting to be screened, at least in California.

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House Passes Bill Restricting Employer Credit Checks

On January 29, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2020 (the “Act”), which would change federal laws pertaining to consumer reporting agencies and credit checks in a number of ways. Significantly for employers, the Act includes an amendment (originally H.R. 3614 – “Restricting Credit Checks for Employment Decisions Act”) to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), which would restrict the use of credit information for most employment decisions

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Howard & Howard Donates $12.5K to South Oakland Citizens for the Homeless

ROYAL OAK, Mich., February 13, 2020 – Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, has donated $12,500 to the South Oakland Citizens for the Homeless (SOCH). The nonprofit SOCH has operated the Welcome Inn Day Center on W. 13 Mile Road since 2003.

The Welcome Inn Day Center is a “low barrier” wintertime day-center, which means that guests are accepted as they are with few stipulations or requirements. The Center also works with a group of local churches which provide overnight accommodations, enabling 24-hour sheltering at a time of year when a denial of care could result in dire consequences for vulnerable, homeless citizens.

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Be Careful What You Wish For: California Federal Judge Compels DoorDash to Conduct – and Pay for – More Than 5,000 Individual Arbitrations

It’s no secret that many employers have employees sign arbitration agreements with class and collective action waivers in the hopes of avoiding the massive wage-hour lawsuits that have become so prevalent in the past two decades.

Nor is it any secret that, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems affirming that such agreements can be valid, even more employers have chosen to use them with their workforces.

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Federal Judge Denies Ride Share and Delivery Companies’ Request for Preliminary Injunction to Enjoin Enforcement of California’s Controversial New Independent Contractor Test

As we recently wrote here, Uber and Postmates (and two of their drivers) to file an eleventh-hour lawsuit seeking to enjoin the enforcement of California’s controversial new independent contractor law – known as AB 5 – against them.

In a significant blow to the challenge to the companies’ challenge to the new law, the court has denied Uber and Postmates’ request for a preliminary injunction to block the enforcement of AB 5 against them.

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Congratulations to Our Twelve Attorneys Named to Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2020

ROYAL OAK, Mich., February 11, 2020 – Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that twelve of our attorneys have been named to Illinois Super Lawyers® and Illinois Rising Stars 2020. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. Only five percent of the attorneys in Illinois were named to the Super Lawyers list and two and a half percent to Rising Stars.

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HHS Addresses Federal Court Invalidation of Certain Provisions of the HIPAA rule Relating to the Third-Party Requests for Patient Records

On January 28, 2020, the Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) addressed a federal court’s January 23rd invalidation of certain provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) rule relating to the third-party requests for patient records. In Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar,[1] the court invalidated the 2013 Omnibus Rule’s mandate that all protected health information (“PHI”) maintained in any format (not just that in the electronic health record) by a covered entity be delivered to third parties at the request of an individual, as well as the 2016 limitation on fees that can be charged to third parties for copies of protected health information (“PHI”).

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